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Feature image credit: Wikimedia

The sale of ASX-listed exploration company Birimian’s N’tiola and Viper gold deposits in southern Mali to African gold major Randgold Resources’ subsidiary Société des Mines de Morila SA is nearing completion.

Birimian reported in late January 2018 that Morila was awaiting government assent to a decree amending the conditions of Morila’s mining permit to include the N’tiola and Viper areas of interest within the Massigui gold project.

Birimian relinquished the areas of interest in August 2017 to facilitate Morila acquiring mining rights to these areas. Mali’s Department of Geology and Mines, the Direction Nationale de la Géologie et des Mines (DNGM), subsequently informed Birimian that environmental clearance of the two areas was required before the necessary decrees could be issued.

Randgold Resources, manager of the Morila Joint Venture, has informed Birimian that Mali’s environmental protection authority, the Direction Nationale de l’Assainissement et du Contrôle de la Pollution et des Nuisances (DNACPN), has granted environmental permits for N’tiola and Viper after reviewing the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) reports for both areas.

Randgold Resources said that the matter had now been referred to the DNGM to secure the assent of the Minister of Mines and the Prime Minister to the decrees modifying Morila’s exploitation permit.

Morila is liaising with the DNGM to ensure that this process is completed as soon as possible.

Moreover, Morila recently completed mining a satellite deposit at Domba village, 6 km from the Morila treatment plant and is currently extending its haul road from Domba to N’tiola and Viper, located a further 20 km north-west of the Morila treatment plant.

Under the terms of the agreements, Birimian will receive an exercise option fee of US$500 000 from Morila on completion of each transaction and a net smelter return of up to 4% on gold produced from the areas of interest.

Area of interest at a glance

The Massigui gold project surrounds the Morila mine lease on three sides and covers strike extensions of the highly prospective geological sequence that hosts the 7 Moz Morila gold deposit.

The area of interest comprises 11km2 and covers the gold deposits at N’tiola and Viper. The balance of the project area (607 km2) is 100%-controlled by Birimian.

The agreement with Morila provides a potential low risk, low cost processing solution, whilst Birimian retains the significant upside potential for further gold discoveries on the broader project area.